Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 70

Appalachian Vocabulary Test

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test-take it and see how you do!

  1. Mite
  2. Mortally
  3. Mullock
  4. Make out
  5. Married off

appalachian vocabulary test 98


  1. Mite: a small amount. “I was gonna make a cake of cornbread for supper until I saw there’s only a mite of meal left.”
  2. Mortally: extremely; completely. “I’m telling you he mortally sent every bullet straight through that bull’s eye. I mean every shot went through the same hole!”
  3. Mullock: a mess. “I came home to such a mullock that I thought about turning around and leaving again.”
  4. Make out: to make do or manage. “He forgot the chainsaw gas but we made out alright with an ax.”
  5. Married off: to get married and leave your parents home. “I remember they bought that RV back in the 70s after all their children were married off.”

I’m familiar with all of this month’s words except mullock-don’t ever recall hearing or reading that one. The rest I hear a regular basis. How about you-how did you do on the test?


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  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    September 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    No mullock- maybe it evolved into muck?

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    and Ed…Now then you are right on about the pronunciation of “mortally” as “mortly”! As soon as I read your comment it (mortly) rang the memory bell!
    You are also on to something with “muck” as “mullock” and “muck” are a gommed up mess!
    “Muck” I would have known but “mullock” didn’t hear much in my neck of raisin’
    Thanks Tipper,
    and Ed if that was your poem yesterday, I liked it!

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Heard all but mullock. Make out was most familiar to me–we had to make out with what we had all the time.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Like you, I never heard of Mullock.
    But the others are familiar.
    I heard Paul and Pap singing #35
    “Gathering Flowers from the Hillside” today on our local radio
    station WKRK 1320 AM. Nobody can
    play and harmony sing like them.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    September 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Heard them all but mullock. We had gaumed up or quit gaumin” it for messed up and messing it up. We also used bollixed for really messed up. I read once that gaum is old English word for to daub or smear something. I guess that makes sense.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    September 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Oh my gosh!!! I was just reading through the comments made since I sent mine in earlier and there was the word “GOM” from Jan C! I truly thought that my family had made that up! My Mom always used “gom” and “gommy” to describe a big mess.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    …and speaking of mites, have you had a problem with chicken mites? They get on chickens and make them peck at themselves until they get sores. If not treated they can die.
    Daddy always kept a check to see if there were mites in the flock. If he found any, the whole flock had to be treated. I remember having to catch them and put “bean dust” on them.
    Chicken mites get on people too but don’t stay long. They prefer chicken. I remember those little critters crawling on me when we were dusting the chickens. Or, maybe it was just my imagination.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 10, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Like the rest I’ve never heard or seen mullock. I looked it up and I think we would call it tailings, muck or coal ash ponds.
    I was invited into a home once where the homeowner said “I’ll have to muck it out a little bit so you can get in.”
    Mortally would be pronounced mortly. “Hit skeered him so bad he mortly flew all the way home!”

  • Reply
    Jan C.
    September 10, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I knew all of them but mullock. My Mamaw always used gom-when things were a big mess, they were “gomed up”.

    • Reply
      August 31, 2019 at 8:02 pm

      Words in the English language ending in “ock” are usually the few survivors Celtic in origin – hillock, hummock, mattock, etc. My guess is this is one of those. As we know, Appalachian culture is heavily Celtic.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    September 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

    All but mullock. But I like the sound of that word!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    September 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I guess I made and 80 on the test. I knew all but two. Thanks for keeping these mountain words thriving among us.

  • Reply
    Sallie Miller Covolo
    September 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Tipper I had not heard mullock..I love the Appalachian Vocabulary tests..

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    September 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Mullock – no; but heard “bollox” as in “They sure bollixed things up today” to mean made a mess of. All of the others I have heard. The only way I have heard “mortally” used was to describe how tired they were: “I worked so hard today that I am mortally tired!”

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I got them all! Mullock was a guess, though- maybe I heard/read it somewhere.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I did well this time – Mullock was the one I didn’t figure out. The others I have used in some of the same meanings and, perhaps, some other meanings. Happy day!

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I’ve never heard mullock used to describe a mess. All the other words are common around here.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 10, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Nope folks, I didn’t forget the test word “make out”! One whole paragraph was used as an example, when I “made do” a hydrangea for a four-leaf clover.
    Did I getcha’?
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    September 10, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Same as you, familiar with all except Mullock.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 10, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Those pictures of the drying “hi-draingeers” look a “mite” like bunchin’ four leaf clovers, don’t they? I’m just tellin’ you that
    they are just “mortally” purtiful in under and amongst other dry flowers in a Fall basket!
    When you want the “look-see” of a four-leaf clover in a dry paste-up arrangement on paper, pick apart an individual little blossom and they work just fine. I’ve even give them a coat of gold or silver or other color after they dry good!
    After I was “married off” and we moved out here, I wanted me some of those beautiful different colored blue and pink blossoms.
    Well, I poured this and that, limestone and aluminum stuff and such tryin to get them pink or blue, like I was told. All I ended up with was a “mullock” in under the bushes, and still only white flowers! I still have old coffee pots and pans sticking up out from under the mulch!…Just Kiddin’!
    Thanks Tipper loved this test! Nope, don’t hear “mullock” ever not! Do “gome” up a lot though!
    PS…My Oak Leaf Hydrangea is still right pretty. It’s gettin’ pretty old and some of the branches died off, there’s just a shoot or two left. I think the Fall color change on them is the prettiest!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

    mortally and mullock are new to me. The rest all the time and use them myself.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 10, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I’ve heard them all but mullock. Don’t ever remember hearing that. In place of mullock I heard gom. Don’t gom it up or your sure making a gom.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Same here Tipper. I hear all the words used here except mullock. Don’t recall ever hearing that word used.

  • Reply
    Janice Stout
    September 10, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I have heard mite, make out, and married off all of my life. My ancestors used “mite” to describe a toddler or child. “He is a little mite.” “Make out” was/is used usually in times of financial difficulties. “We had to put a new roof on the house, but we will make out.” Females are usually “married off.” I don’t believe I have ever heard the term referenced to a male. Throwback to the days when women weren’t self-sufficient I guess. Love the Appalachian “quizzes.”

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 10, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Like Tipper, I knew all and we used them on Choestoe, except “mullock”. I had never read, heard or seen it before. It must not have been a regular word in our Scots-Irish vocabulary.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 10, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Tipper–Like you, I’ve never heard mullock. I suspect it has pretty much gone out of usage. The others are common as pig’s tracks.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 4:27 am

    All but the mullock can’t remember hearing that one,but the other’s quiet often.

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